Hymns are extremely popular with elderly people and the average pensioner knows the words and tunes to more than 40 songs of praise (if Christmas carols are included, this figure rises to more than 110).

Hymns are most commonly sung in places of worship and the most prolific writer of hymns was the Methodist minister Anthemus Dithyramb, who produced almost 800 between 1742 and 1751 – including My Sweet Lord, later covered by George Harrison, Firestarter, later covered by The Prodigy, and I Rest in Peace on the Mattress of Jehova, later covered by a duvet.

Curiously, in 2006, the hymn numbers displayed for the Sunday service at St Bernard of the Beehive in the Wiltshire village of Lydiard Millicent correctly predicted the National Lottery winning numbers for three weeks in a row – and the six regular members of the congregation gave thanks for this divine intervention by paying for the font to be waterproofed and moving to Monaco.